2012 0-7734-2612-4 This book is an important contribution to the history of Spanish liberalism, as well as a study of the exile communities of 19th century Europe, detailing the political encounters and exchanges that were generated. Many exiles left their countries in the aftermath of failed uprisings, when attempts to establish forms of constitutional and representative government for national independence resulted in reactionary backlash and foreign invasion. Their preferred destination was the United Kingdom, often settling in London. London was a cosmopolitan metropolis, famous for its toleration and openness to new ideas.
In recent years, we have achieved a better grasp of the internal dynamic and political vision of these political refugees. This publication contributes a detailed dimension to this story, by reconstructing the experience of one distinguished Spanish liberal of this period, Ramón Alesón.
Alesón was an Anglophile, and keen student of the British system of representative government. At the time of his arrival in 1823, Britain was an oasis of ‘liberalism’. The United Kingdom had a representative government and the Parliamentary tradition has survived unscathed through the revolutionary and counter-revolutionary upheavals which had devastated parts of Europe, including Spain.